Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why didn't someone tell me about this before?

In response to press reports of people being paid to join the Alliance for Sleaze and Disharmony's march on Sunday, organiser Robert Chow reverted to the feeble "everybody's doing it" defence and claimed that people are also being paid (or at least bribed with free meals) to join pro-democracy rallies.  All I can say is that I wish I'd known about this earlier.  Like hundreds of thousands of other Hongkongers, I have turned out year after year in sweltering heat or pouring rain to speak out for Hong Kong's rights and freedoms, and never received a cent or a sandwich for my trouble - not even my bus fare.

So, where do I collect my arrears?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Egg on their Faces

Yesterday's protest march by the Alliance for Peace and Hypocrisy attracted a claimed 110,000 plus participants - although if you deduct those who were paid to attend (some of whom, when interviewed on TV, clearly had no idea what the event was all about), coerced by their employers, bused in from the mainland, or more interested in protecting their mainland business interests than in the welfare of Hong Kong, the real figure was probably only a few hundred.  Even hardcore Beijing loyalists like Maria Tam, who showed her face at a precursor event earlier in the day, reportedly couldn't be bothered to actually get off their arses and march - while many of those who did, having registered their attendance at the starting point, apparently dropped out soon after leaving Victoria Park.

The most interesting thing that happened was one of the protesters throwing eggs at some People Power hecklers staging a counter-protest.  Their aim being as imprecise as the aims of the Alliance for Peace and Dishonesty itself, they hit a young policewoman instead.  Strangely, the police - usually so aggrieved at any perceived attack on themselves - somehow never got round to arresting the perpetrator.

Why is this interesting?  Because for a month the Alliance has had booths all over town inviting people to sign its petition against - not really Occupy Central, but a demonised distortion of Occupy Central that doesn't exist in reality - in other words, a fantasy enemy.  And all during this time, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no physical attack on any of these booths or on those staffing them by the supposedly dangerous Occupy Central camp, whom we are invited to fear as a violent threat to the peace of Hong Kong.  Yet when there is a march against this so-called violent organisation, we see an attack coming from those who are supposedly promoting peace and opposing violence - and a planned one too; no one just happens to be carrying a tray of 24 eggs with them (as shown in the SCMP's photos) when they go on a protest march.

Yes, there is a violent threat to the Hong Kong we care about - but it doesn't come from Occupy Central.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fingering

Uncle Beach's Etiquette Advice - Part 1 of a new series

Dear Uncle Beach,
I would like to know how best to respond to the strange hand signals I see being used by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy.  I do not want to cause any offence to the Hong Kong people by giving an inappropriate response.
Signed Puzzled of Pokfulam


Uncle Beach replies:
Dear Puzzled,
No need to worry - for the true Hong Konger there is only one appropriate response to anything the so-called Alliance for Peace and Democracy does:
Signed Uncle Beach


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Occupy Central - the Chief Executive Speaks Out


In strict legal terms, CY Leung's warning against Occupy Central may be accurate.  But as in so many other aspects of his "leadership", it betrays an alarming unfamiliarity with the real world.  The fact is, we all break the law regularly.  Just about everyone in Hong Kong is at some time guilty of, for example: jaywalking, speeding, illegal parking, bringing home a little more than the duty-free allowance when returning from overseas, eating on public transport, smoking in a no-smoking area, or (like Leung himself), making unauthorised alterations to our homes.  These are offences of the type classified in American law as misdemeanours - they may be against the law, but no one really thinks of themself as a criminal for doing them.  They form the middle ground that Leung tells us does not exist.

Yes, Occupy Central would be illegal - but what type of illegal?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who's Blocking Whom?

So let me see if I've got this straight: a group of minibus drivers take over the street to protest against people planning to take over the streets.  Hmm.  Another story for the "You couldn't make this stuff up" file.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Torah 2.0

The Book of Exodus
The Book of Benjamin

...and rising, based on the latest reported death toll of 1,000 Palestinians  (mostly civilians) and 42 Israelis (mostly soldiers).

The continuing slaughter gave rise to what must be one of the most meaningless utterances ever by a prominent politician, when US Secretary of State John Kerry said
"They may have rejected some language or proposal within a framework of some kind of suggestion at some point in time, but there was no formal proposal submitted from me on which there should have been a vote or which a vote was ripe."

If this means anything at all, I think it means something like "I am embarrassed to be standing up here making excuses for our Israeli allies continuing to shoot at schools and hospitals despite the various ceasefire proposals being put forward, but I suppose I have to say something that doesn't sound too negative, so er...er..."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rotten Luck

By a rather unfortunate coincidence, the South China Morning Post had this:

on its website today in close proximity to this:
I think we can safely rule out one contender for best burger in town!